27 September, 2022 – Airbnb today announced the launch of the Cape Town remote working hub, a one-stop-shop for aspiring remote workers, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism. Anyone looking to live and work in Cape Town can now use the hub to find inspiration for local long-term listings as well as important information on entry requirements and visa policies.
Earlier this year, Airbnb launched its Live and Work Anywhere initiative to identify some of the most remote worker-friendly destinations in the world, and support governments and Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) in helping to revive tourism and provide economic support to communities after two-plus years of travel restrictions.
The Live and Work Anywhere partnership will see Cape Town’s official DMO, Cape Town Tourism, collaborate with Airbnb on a range of initiatives to promote the metro to remote workers seeking accommodation for their long-term stays. Cape Town and Airbnb will also come together to create educational campaigns that promote responsible hosting and traveling as a remote worker.
Millions of people are now more flexible about where they live and work. About one in five guests globally reported using Airbnb to work remotely while travelling in 2021 — a trend that has continued into Q1 2022, with long-term stays at an all-time high, more than doubling in size from Q1 2019. And, in the first half of 2022, bookings for international solo travel in Cape Town for long term stays grew by approximately 55% compared to the same time in 2019.
Travel brings significant economic opportunity to local communities and connects people around the world, and Airbnb wants to work together with destinations to make it easier for workers to enjoy this flexibility, and support the return of safe and responsible travel.
Airbnb recently published a guide for governments and destinations outlining recommendations for how communities can benefit economically from the rise in remote workers. Airbnb’s Guide to Live and Work Anywhere: How Communities Can Benefit from Remote Workers is based on Airbnb’s insights, data and experiences in partnering with 20 destinations that are embracing the potential of remote work, as well as a review of remote worker programs worldwide.
To reap the benefits of remote working, Airbnb’s Guide to Live and Work Anywhere provides recommendations for:
- Improving visa processes and streamlining tax compliance.
- Encouraging remote workers to support local businesses.
- Immersing remote workers and their families into host neighbourhoods.
Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead for Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said: “Cape Town and South Africa are perfectly positioned to reap the benefits of remote working. Together we want to make it easier for people to enjoy the newfound flexibility to work and travel, and help local communities capture the benefits of tourism by continuing to break down the barriers to becoming a tourism entrepreneur.”
Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town City Mayor, said: “Innovation is necessary to continuously attract travellers. Digital nomads make up an ever-expanding market within tourism. A new world of work has emerged where professionals are swapping the office for a room with a view. More and more countries are launching remote work visas and South Africa literally cannot afford to be left behind, especially when other parts of the country, just like Cape Town, have so much to offer these travellers who drive significant revenue into local economies.”
Alderman James Vos, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, said: “A 2021 survey of global professionals found that 74% of them believe remote working will become the new normal while 97% of employees and entrepreneurs said they wanted flexibility in terms of where they do their jobs*. Surveyed digital nomads have also said that Cape Town is one of their favourite cities for living, working and playing and so we quickly learned that this is something that we as a City must get ahead of. This is why we approached Airbnb, the global leader in the home-stay platform and who recently initiated a policy to let their employees live and work from anywhere in the world.”
In April, co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told employees they could work from anywhere as part of Airbnb’s own remote-working policy. In the first week following the announcement, Airbnb received more than 1 million visitors to its career page – reinforcing the appetite people have to live and work anywhere.